module specification

NF7P42 - Research Dissertation: Dietetics and Nutrition (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Research Dissertation: Dietetics and Nutrition
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 600
542 hours Guided independent study
58 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30% 45 Research Proposal (2000 words)
Dissertation 70% 45 Research Dissertation (13000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North - -
Summer studies North - Not applicable
Spring semester North - -

Module summary

This module teaches the theory of research design and delivery. It also is designed for students to undertake a substantial piece of research in the field of nutrition and dietetics. It is essential for conversion of the PG Diploma in Dietetics & Nutrition from London Metropolitan University to MSc in Dietetics & Nutrition.

Notes: restricted to graduates who have successfully completed an HCPC approved PG Diploma in Dietetics with or without Nutrition.

Prior learning requirements

Successfully complete the requirements for PG Dip Dietetics & Nutrition

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically it allows students to develop skills in designing, conducting and analysing a research project and to demonstrate through their dissertation the acquisition of skills in project design, data collection and analysis. Students will produce a dissertation that includes discussion and appraisal of results that may include synthesis of theory, inform policy or show relevance to practice within the field of nutrition and dietetics.  The research will require either an empirical collection of data or a secondary analysis of existing data.


Research methodology - qualitative and quantitative
Practical approach to research and audit
Developing research question
Literature searching & critical appraisal
Producing a research proposal
Application of statistics to research
Qualitative & quantitative research methodology
Ethics and research governance
Dissemination of research

Learning and teaching

This module will require the student to self-direct and manage his/her own independent learning experience. The area of research will be matched, as far as is possible with the research interest, expertise and existing research projects of the supervisor.  Research topics will be identified during the earlier part of the course through formal discussions in tutorials between the students, the Module convenor and a supervisor who has suitable research interests.  The supervisor may be a member of academic teaching or research staff within the University, and may jointly supervise with someone from outside in appropriate organisations.

Topics will be chosen that give the opportunity for high-level research that advances the boundaries of current knowledge but gives the student a realistic opportunity of completion. The module will be delivered through a combination of direct contact and on-line sessions (50 hours), with project supervision (8 hours) and self-directed study (542 hrs).

Upon arrangement by the student, the project supervisor will initially assist in the following processes:

  1. clarifying the terms of the research project
  2. establishing a timetable for the research and dates for subsequent student/supervisor meetings
  3. directed background reading
  4. study design, methodology, ethical approval (where necessary) and statistical analysis

Supervisory support will form a key part of the teaching method, but ultimately, most of the learning will be student-centred. Supervisor meetings will continue periodically through the project. A typical amount of contact time the student can expect is about eight hours with the supervisor. Each meeting will be logged and a summary of the outcome should be signed by both parties using the appropriate proforma. Comments on the draft of the dissertation can be expected.

In the production of the research dissertation it is the student's responsibilty to self-direct and manage their own study.

The supervisor will assist with the following:

  1. Clarify the terms of the research project
  2. Established a timetable for the research and dates for subsequent supervision meetings
  3. Advise on background reading
  4. Advise on study design, methodology, ethical approval and analysis approach.

Learning outcomes

On completing this module students will be able to:

  1. Criticise the scientific literature relevant to the topic of research through the production of a cohesive and complete literature review.
  2. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of research methodology in order to plan and design research.
  3. Design, execute and analyse a piece of research relevant to the area of nutrition and dietetics showing originality of thought.
  4. Demonstrate a deep understanding of research ethics and governance.
  5. Interpret and critically evaluate the results of appropriate statistical tests on data using statistical software.
  6. Evaluate own research findings and discuss the implications of these within the wider context of the research area.

Assessment strategy

The assessment will be the production of a research proposal and final research dissertation.

The proposal should follow a standard structure and provide for example an evaluation and appraisal of the relevant literature, a rationale for the research, and aims of proposed research, research questions, hypothesis and methodology. It should be 2000 words in length and provide a basis for a submission to the relevant ethics committees. (Learning outcomes 1,2)

The required length of the dissertation is 13,000 words exclusive of title page, contents, figures,  tables, bibliography and appendices. The content should be of sufficient depth to be appropriate for a Masters level award, but broad enough to demonstrate an informed overview of the subject area. The structure of the dissertation will depend upon the nature of the research. Details will be included in the dissertation module booklet. (Learning outcomes 3,4,5,6)

Students must obtain at least 50% to pass this module. In addition students must usually obtain at least 45% in each component of assessment within this module. A mark of between 45% and 49% may be compensated by other components.


British Dietetic Association Research Committee
Central Office for NHS Research Committees (COREC)
Kinnear P.R., Gray C.D., (2011) ‘IBM SPSS Statistics 19 made Simple' Routledge
Hennink M, Hutter I., Bailey A. (2010) Qualitative research methods.    Imprint London : Sage Publications, 2010
Hickson M (2008) Research Handbook for Health Care Professionals Wiley publications        ISBN: 978-1-4051-7737-5 (CORE)
Medical Research Council (2005) ‘Good Research Practice’
Neale J (Ed).(2009) Research Methods for Health and Social Care
Imprint Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan. (CORE)